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I recently made a passing mention of having a cleaning schedule, and many of you wanted to know what exactly I’m doing in an attempt to keep my house clean.

I first tried a cleaning schedule shortly after Colton was born. I chose to use Motivated Moms’ weekly schedule, which has tasks you do every day (laundry, vacuuming kitchen, etc) as well as tasks for each day throughout the week. The nice thing about this schedule, was that monthly, quarterly and other occasional tasks would pop up at the appropriate time. This schedule worked great for me until Colton stopped napping and sleeping well. I didn’t have a lot of time sans kid, and that kid could not entertain himself while I cleaned. It just didn’t fit with my season of life. Even when I did stop following the schedule, I did keep some of the “big” tasks from Motivated Moms for a while (vacuuming main rooms Monday, bedrooms Tuesday, etc), but I had nothing to keep me accountable, so I just stopped.

Then, I randomly cleaned whenever I felt like it/couldn’t stand it anymore/Hubby told me I had to. Until we were both fed up. So, I started looking for a cleaning schedule that felt more manageable for me. I’ve found a lot of great options (thanks Pinterest!), like schedules tailored to your cleaning “personality.”

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There’s even an option for toddler moms! My friend has been doing the dot-to-dot option from here and has found it really works for her.

But, the biggest help to figuring out my own cleaning schedule has been identifying what I’m good at when it comes to cleaning the house. I’ve found that I’m reasonably good at picking up, especially in our living room, so where I really need help is in the actual cleaning tasks, since I’m more likely to tidy things up by putting them away than I am to break out the vacuum or dust.

So, when I found a schedule that told me I could keep my house clean in 15-20 minutes a day, I thought it would be a winner!

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So far, it’s been working pretty well for me. I like that I only have one task to do each day, even though it may be a large task, like vacuuming the whole house, just having one thing I’m responsible for feels so much manageable than ten. I’m still tweaking this to work for me though. For example, I don’t need two days to clean my bathrooms. One is rarely used right now, so it doesn’t need a lot of cleaning, and I honestly don’t mind cleaning bathrooms, so doing both in one day is no biggie. I’m trying to find what to replace a bathroom day with, and I’m leaning towards touching up my vacuuming right now, since we always seem to have dirt or dog hair around. I also think switching bathrooms and dusting around will work better for me, since Tuesdays are busy for me. I need a day to be home if I’m going to be motivated to do my most hated task.

And, as far as keeping myself accountable? For me, the best way to do this is to display my schedule. With Motivated Moms, I hung it on my fridge and checked off each task. With my new schedule, it’s framed and displayed in my dinning room. I can see it right now, telling me today is the day to touch up my vacuuming.

I hope you guys find this helpful in terms of finding or creating a cleaning schedule that works for you. I’ll keep you posted if there are any major changes here (besides falling off the wagon completely).

A friend of mine recently moved in down the street. I’m excited to wander over and visit and go to the park with her and her daughter. Even better? She’s having a baby in a couple of months, which means baby holding will soon be less than a five minute walk away!

I visited yesterday for lunch, playing and a tour. I peeked into her master bedroom after she said, “just don’t pay attention to the mess.” No biggie, it looks just like my bedroom – clean laundry everywhere, dirty laundry everywhere, random stuff on the dressers, unmade bed, pretty much the last room you ever think to clean. We chatted for a bit about how this is true for both of us: we clean our bedrooms so much less frequently than the rest of our house because we can shut the door and no one has to see our mess.

She said something I’ve been pondering ever since: “isn’t it sad that’s what we do? I mean, that should really be the first room we clean.”

I’d never thought of it that way before, but now I think I agree. Shouldn’t I value myself, my husband and our marriage enough to want to keep our room not just tidy, but clean? I don’t want Colton to think he’s the most important thing in my life or the only thing that’s a priority, but his room is much more clutter and dust-free than mine is, and I always put his clothes away.

So yesterday I cleaned my bedroom.

All the laundry is put away, random junk from the dressers found a new home (the trash!), I changed our sheets and made the bed, dusted all the furniture, swiffered cobwebs off the ceiling and vacuumed the floors. And it felt so great that night to get into bed, sit and read and relax.

And, I’ve decided that if I think my room is in a state I would find unacceptable for my child to live in, than it’s unacceptable for me to live in it too. And honestly, I just want our bedroom to be nice. I want it to feel relaxing and that it reflects us, not our child.

Do any of you have this problem? If you don’t, do you have some wonderful secret you can tell me to have a great master bedroom? I’m thinking of taking January to really focus on our bedroom, and maybe changing my “touch-up” day on my cleaning schedule to master bedroom day to make sure the room continues to get the attention it deserves.

It may be the last week of the 111 Things in 1/11 challenge at Words on Wendhurst, but my purging journey has not come to an end just yet. There’s still more stuff in the basement to tackle, and this summer brings my self-imposed deadline for fitting back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. So if it doesn’t fit and don’t love it, this summer I toss it. Plus, I still need to go through my craft things and get rid of the scrapbooking things I haven’t used in years.

Getting rid of things this month has been so freeing, and I’ve been inspired to keep up my purging ways.

This week was my best purging week ever! Here’s what I got rid of, minus the baby and his toys:

That giant pile includes:

  • 3 worn out camis
  • 1 purse with a broken bottom (I loved that purse!)
  • 1 drink cozy
  • 2 hangers, 1 wire, 1 broken
  • 1 completed Bible Study workbook
  • 1 never used camera case
  • 4 never-played computer games
  • 6 pillow cases
  • 3 fitted sheets
  • 2 flat sheets
  • 1 male dress shirt
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 dress that just isn’t flattering
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 womens dress shirt
  • 1 skirt
  • 9 assorted baby things I don’t think I’ll use again

Plus, the Hubby cleaned some in the basement, and filled a big box full of junk:

I’m not totally sure what all’s in here, but I know there are at least two pairs of shoes, lots of old plastic pots, and a nasty old roll of duct tape.

Anyway, not counting Hubby’s stuff, I got rid of 42 things this week! My total for the month? 137 things are on their way out of my house!

As promised, this past week I tackled the baby clothes as part of the 111 Things in 1/11 challenge at Words on Wendhurst. It was harder than I thought and I honestly didn’t get rid of too much. Here’s what I did manage to clear out though:

That’s two baby blankets, three pairs of baby mittens (we NEVER used these), a SwaddleMe, and a random assortment of clothes, for a total of 20 baby things.

I also got rid of a puzzle, a shirt and another bra that failed it’s trial period. In the basement, I went through my non-matching socks, and found three matches(!!), and 6 socks without matches. I also threw out 3 random, gross t-shirts. Hopefully the Hubs won’t find them in the trash and attempt to rescue them.

In an attempt to pare down my dishtowels, since all of the ones I own don’t fit in their designated drawer, I got rid of three dishtowels. I also threw out one gross potholder and replaced it with a new potholder I’d been storing in the dishtowel drawer.

That’s a total of 34 for things for this week! That brings my total towards the challenge to 95. I hope to tackle the desk this coming week, and I’m sure I can find at least 16 things to get rid of there – I can almost taste the success!

This week, I got rid of 32 things, including: 2 pairs of shoes, 2 water bottles, 4 t-shirts, and a variety of socks, bras and underwear as part of the 111 Things in 1/11 challenge at Words on Wendhurst.

I almost NEVER wear either pair of shoes, though one is particularly cute, so there’s no sense in keeping them. I’m trying to decide if I want to send them to Goodwill, or try to consign them at the spring kid’s consignment sale (I have baby feet, so both pairs are actually kid’s shoes).

I threw out the two water bottles, a Navy water bottle and a Nalgene. Mostly, they’ve just rolled around on my car floor for 6+ months, and I figured they were too gross to give to anyone. Plus, I have three other water bottles I consistently use, so I didn’t need these two.

Most of the t-shirts, bras, underwear and socks will go in the trash, but a few socks will go to Goodwill. Mostly, the things I’m getting rid here aren’t in good shape, so there’s no point in sending them along to Goodwill. Plus, is someone really going to want to wear my old underwear? I think not.

I also threw away some random expired coupons, old receipts and papers, which I’m not counting. If it’s truly trash,  it’s out the door. Oh! And an extra bonus? Going through my undie drawer got me some free plastic bags! When my undergarments stopped fitting well while I was pregnant, I bagged them up to make room for my big girl undies. Now that I can wear my old things again, I have 8 more ziploc baggies than I did before!

So, here’s my little pile for the week, not counting the water bottles, which have already gone on to a better place.

Dear “Vonnegut With This?” shirt, I will miss you.

Next week, my goal is to work on my kitchen cabinets and go through the clothes Colton can no longer wear and get rid of the things I don’t really, really like. Oh yeah, and at some point I’ll need to tackle this:

Holy crap Batman!

Amanda over at ohAmanda! is starting a “Top Ten Tuesdays” Mr. Linky. I love Mr. Linkys (Linkies?)! It seems I’ve brought a little something back from D.C. with me, so I’m having a hard time thinking of something INTERESTING to post. Amanda to the rescue!

I like having a clean house – I hate to clean. I’m working on it, really I am, but I still have some things that, um, possibly haven’t been cleaned since my mom helped us move in and cleaned them for me. Yeah. Sorry Mom! Here are the top ten things I should probably be cleaning instead of blogging.

10. My car.

9. Our baseboards.

8. Those evil narrow spaces behind my sink and toilet.

7. My trashcans. Shouldn’t you disinfect those every so often?

6. My closet. Who KNOWS what’s gotten in there since Hubby built a custom organization unit for me.

5. My fridge. I cleaned it out, oh, 6 months ago, but I KNOW there’s expired food in there, and I can see dog hair in there. Goober likes to stick her head in the fridge. Its nice and cool and smells good.

4. Our fan blades. Haven’t even thought of them since we moved in until I noticed some dark colored dust on the one above our bed last week.

3. Goober’s “room.” Her blankets need to be washed, the floors vacuumed, and then mopped.

2. Under our bed. Dust bunnies, need I say more?

1. The upstairs. Its not DIRTY, per se, but a MESS AND A HALF! Hubby’s been working on replacing our insulation up there, so we have insulation rapping, rolls of insulation, extra lamps, and ALL our Christmas decorations (including two trees) that are hanging out in the open thanks to no floors in our attic space.

Just a 20-something girl living on the East Coast, trying to figure out life. I'm a wife and mom to two. I'm trying to rediscover my love for long walks, yoga and pilates. But not hiking. I still don't like hills. I was raised at the beach, but I don't like the beach. I like to look at it, but I don't like to swim in it, I'd prefer a pool, thanks. I'm just trying to become the best person I can be -- the woman God wants me to be. That's easier said than done!

E-mail Me!

Contact me at longbrakeliving@gmail.com - I'd love to hear from you!

Hubby is my all-time favorite guy. A perfect mix of serious, sarcastic, laid-back, handy and nerdy, he is the perfect complement to me. I love his strong work-ethic and the way he always loves and supports me through everything. Some of Hubby's favorite things include: hiking, Virginia Tech football, woodworking, and his family. When I married him in July 2007, I had no idea what an amazing journey we were headed on, and how I could come to love him so much more each day.

Our oldest, Colton, is three years old. He is equal parts sassy and hysterical. He loves all things train, car, bus, truck, and machine related. He has a penchant for made-up words and loves to be the clown of his pre-school class. Our younger son, Nathan, was born this May. He is pure joy and full of smiles! He is such a blessing and a perfect fit for our family.